we help nations develop common sense policies to reduce destructive ocean noise.
Oceans are a sonic symphony. Sound is essential to the survival and prosperity of marine life, but human-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world.
High levels of noise from shipping, oil and gas exploration, naval sonar training and construction are drowning out the ocean’s natural sounds. This diminishes the ability for whales, dolphins and other marine life to communicate, feed, breed and survive. In severe cases, it can lead to injury or even death.
In the Pacific Ocean alone, shipping noise has doubled every decade over the last 40 years. For iconic blue whales, a dramatic rise in ocean noise has drastically reduced their ability to interact with one another, decreasing the distance they can communicate over by as much as 90 percent.
No international standards for the regulation of ocean noise exist today.
Ocean noise and international commerce are connected. When we reduce shipping speeds and optimise ship design, the noise goes down and efficiency goes up.
We work to better understand the problem and set better standards. In Europe for instance, national legislation and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive require countries to demonstrate an improving trend in reducing underwater noise. We collaborate with shipping companies, ports and the International Maritime Organization’s Marine Environment Protection Committee to push progress further around the world.
Our work is changing the face of international policy every day, and it starts with awareness.
Join IFAW and other influential voices as we explore both the beauty and destructive effects of sound in our great blue ocean. Watch the Emmy-award winning documentary “Sonic Sea.”
Sonic Sea Trailer
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The problems we face are urgent, complicated and resistant to change. Real solutions demand creativity, hard work and involvement from people like you.